If you’re one of the lady bosses in the Mamapreneur Mastermind, then you’ve probably interacted with Ariel before.
She’s knowledgeable, thoughtful and supportive. She’s also an awesome writer and inbound marketer.
If you haven’t met Ariel so far, then you’re in luck today. Because she agreed to answer our questions in the Freelancer Spotlight series.
And she’s incredibly honest about wanting to throw in the towel on solopreneurship multiple times.
Thanks for taking the time to chat, Ariel!
What do you do and how long have you been in business?
I’m a freelance copywriter and social media manager. I started out in 2013, but my business really started to take off in 2014 when I stumbled into freelance writing and digital marketing.
What got you into freelancing? Was it what you expected?
I’m the daughter of a small business owner and married to an entrepreneur so you could say that genetics and influence gave me a natural bend to the freelance calling.
I used my marketing skills to help build my husband’s company to six figures, but freelancing for myself was a whole other ball game that I didn’t quite expect. I expected getting my business to a point of profitability would be much easier than it was. I didn’t know how to market my skills and land jobs that I really wanted or that paid very well.
What has been most challenging part of solopreneurship so far?
I think the hardest part is being solo.
I never like being the smartest person in the room. I like learning and working with other people, but as a solopreneur I’ve been alone in a lot of business decisions. I could feel that stunting my business growth.
Thankfully, I’ve been able to make great connections online and with other awesome lady bosses, including Gina. This helped because it allowed me to ask questions, bounce ideas off others and give and receive feedback.
Did you ever want to quit or give up?
There have been times where I wanted to throw in the towel. As a busy mom to two boys under five, growing my business to where I want it to be has been slow. Sometimes, growth completely halted as I’ve had to deal with “momlife” and just life in general.
I began to question if doing this was worth it right now. My kids and family are my main priority and I felt like I couldn’t give anything or anyone my full attention, which was thoroughly frustrating. I hit burnout more times than I can count on one hand and it was difficult to push through.
But my husband was always my constant mentor and helped me to not give up entirely. Thanks to his encouragement, I’ve been able to push through the rough patches of running my own business and haven’t looked back since.
What tasks in your business would you like to outsource?
I do a lot of social media and outreach for clients. But, oddly enough doing it for myself is always something that gets pushed to the side. I’d love to be able to outsource Pinterest and Instagram content but have yet to find the right person who can do it.
How do you stay motivated and productive when working solo?
It’s not easy. I think you have to train yourself to just go out there and do it even if you’re tired and don’t feel like doing anything.
Being productive takes a few things for me. I use my Panda Planner to get stuff written out for the month and week so that I can stay on top of life and not drown under it. I’ve also found that it’s super important to set aside days and times for a “no-work zone.”
No emails, no social media, no Skype, nada. I use that time to spend solely with my family, to remember that nothing is more important than them and remember to take the good times as my biggest accomplishments.
It lets my brain recoup and keeps me sane.
What are some big successes you’ve had recently?
I recently sat down and completely restructured the business plan for my blog. I had planned to do this at the beginning of the year, but life got in the way every time I tried.
I’ve also spent months learning everything I can about digital marketing, especially email marketing and sales funnels. I made learning these things a priority because I know that without a clear marketing plan and understanding of what I’m doing, my business will eventually flatline.
I now have multiple certifications on marketing topics which have helped me to land high paying jobs and will contribute to my business growth in the months to come.
What are some specific strategies and pieces of advice that helped you grow?
I stopped thinking of myself as just a writer.
I love writing, but what I do and the services I offer are more valuable than just words. My niches are in business-to-business companies, working with email funnels, and e-commerce social media. These businesses need creative people who can tell stories in a way that increase brand awareness and income.
I made it my aim to brand myself accordingly and it’s helped in more ways than I can explain. I’m spending the next few months of the year to tidy up my website and social channels to align with this new direction I’ve found.
(Gina’s Tip: If you’re thinking of taking the freelance writing path, I wrote a post that will definitely help you get started.)
What are your most excited about for your business next year?
I have a lot geared up for next year, and some of it isn’t freelance related. I’m an entrepreneur exploring other ways to make money so it’s very exciting for me to test other business models. Since my kids are getting older and I have more help at home, getting stuff done won’t be too much of a hassle.
I’m also in the mix of building and training a small team of ladies ready to rock 2017 so I’m pretty excited for where things are headed.
Ariel is a certified content marketer, social media manager, freelance copywriter and entrepreneur. She has an odd fascination with email auto-responders and digital marketing, enjoys large cups of coffee, and snuggles with her amazing boys. You can keep in touch with Ariel on Instagram, but she always loves a good ol’ fashioned blog visit.